Carsten Norgaard can be seen co-starring in Amazon’s highly anticipated series “The Man in the High Castle.”
Based on Philip K. Dick’s award-winning novel, and executive produced by Ridley Scott (The Martian), “The Man in the High Castle” explores what it would be like if the Allied Powers had lost WWII, and Japan and Germany ruled the United States. Carsten is a scene-stealer as double agent and Berlin insider ‘Colonel Rudolph Wegener,’ who poses as Swedish businessman Victor Baynes.
From a tough as nails, ex-NHL player coaching a hockey team in the Junior Goodwill Games, to a swash buckling cardinal guard, and a decadent music teacher, Carsten has brought to life a plethora of rich and complex characters on the big and small screens over the years. His range has been seen not only in U.S. projects but internationally as well, making him one of the most diverse actors in the entertainment industry today. His breakout role was in the film “D2: The Mighty Ducks” [Buena Vista Pictures] opposite Emilio Estevez.
You may also recognize Carsten from his handful of roles in blockbuster films including: “The Three Musketeers” opposite Milla Jovovich, Orlando Bloom and Christopher Waltz, “Alien vs. Predator,” the #1 box office hit for 20th Century Fox directed by Paul Anderson, “Gods & Generals” [Warner Bros.] the Civil War drama starring Robert Duvall directed by Ron Maxwell, “Soldier” [Warner Bros.] starring Kurt Russell and directed by Paul Anderson, and the short film “The Spartans” [Sundance Channel] which earned an official selection at the Sundance Film Festival.
Carsten recently took time out of his packed schedule to tell Chilled about his new role.
CHILLED: Tell us a bit about the projects you are working on or have coming up.
CARSTEN: First off, I’m a Phillip K. Dick fan and was intrigued by The Man in The High Castle based on a PKD novel. He is a very prolific writer and several films have been based on his stories, Blade Runner, Minority Report, Total Recall etc.
The Man In The High Castle is about “what if” the Allied forces had lost WWll and the Axis Powers had moved on to conquer The United States and spilt it in two. What would our world look like today or rather 1962! It’s both provocative and thought-provoking that explores the impact to our freedoms if we had lost WWII.
I play Colonel Rudolph Wegener a central character and Berlin insider, who is posing as a Swedish textile industrialist Victor Baynes on his way to a secret meeting in San Fransisco. Anxious and worried about a potential power vacuum that could occur in Berlin if Hitler dies and in return might lead to war between Japan and Germany. Wegener, tries to work out a secret agreement with the Japanese Trade Minister Tagomi in order to avert war between the Axis powers.
The book is very rich, dense and full of ideas and the challenge was to convey the novel in a dramatic way and at the same time honor a great piece of literature, which I think the show’s creator Frank Spotnitz and other writers did masterfully.
I remember waking up when the pilot first was dropped and the critics called the show “Amazon’s House of Cards” which was very flattering and a great motivator. America is a land of big ideas and this is a big idea that probably wouldn’t have happened without Amazon.
CHILLED: With your busy schedule, what do you like to do with your down time?
CN: I have a small close knit group of friends whom I love spending my down time with when we’re all in town. As you know, friends are the family you choose yourself… having said that I have great family, they just live far away. We usually take long hikes, a lot of great trails in hills around LA. BBQ’s, movies, workout and of course read and look for new projects.
CHILLED: When you go out to eat, where do you like to dine?
CN: I don’t dine out too much I’m kind of healthy that way, but when I do it’s usually my favorite Sushi place – one of my best friends is an awesome Sushi chef. Once in a while I will travel downtown to the Grand Central Market if I crave tacos, which are really off the hook! I feel fortunate living in the midst of the diverse food culture which LA is, you can always find something interesting and new if you desire.
CHILLED: What types of dishes do you usually order?
CN: I have an eclectic taste if there is such a thing or a “benneton foodie” so to speak – but when it comes to Sushi I will usually let the chef surprise me
CHILLED: Do you cook?
CN: Yes, love cooking and I cook a lot of fusion food because of my travels all over the world. I have been inspired by the Asian kitchens and gastronomy I try to incorporate that into the western frame. I find cooking therapeutic, intimate at the same time. I appreciate friends cooking for me, not only do they have to cook, think about what to make, buy the ingredients, but also cook and clean. It’s a time investment so always feel very fortunate when I’m invited for dinner!
CHILLED: What types of drinks do you order when out?
CN: Wide range.. it depends on the occasion, beer from a micro brew, wine, or a Martini.
CHILLED: Do you prepare drinks at home?
CN: Sometimes vodka tonics, spritzers. Tito’s vodka mixed with a freshly opened coconut.
CHILLED: What would your ultimate home bar be like?
CN: I think it would be an underground wine cellar with all the trimmings you could imagine!
CHILLED: What is your favorite drink/cocktail?
CN: Vodka tonic, but in the summer The King’s Ginger with tonic and a couple of lemon slices!